Today’s Reader Spotlight comes to us from Vicki at Coupondipity. She shares how a $5 coupon class helped her turn her coupon interest into a way of life. It’s amazing how coupons can change your life…and for the better!
For many years, I was not what you would call a “couponer”. Sure, every now and then I’d clip a coupon from somewhere and stick it in my purse, only to find it with gum on it during my ‘once a year’ purse clean out.
A little over three years ago, a friend was hosting a coupon class and it was only $5 to attend. I figured I’d go – surely I could learn something. That night changed my life! I sat through the class and got more and more excited when I saw how much money I could save. I literally couldn’t wait for my first coupon-shopping trip. I had no idea that NOT using coupons was like leaving money on the table…a lot of money.
I started small and when I walked out of the store with freebies, I could not contain my excitement. Here in Florida, true BOGO Land, I would literally get giddy when I had a BOGO coupon and Publix had the product on sale BOGO. Two for free! (Or more!). I began actually getting excited about grocery shopping. Then there was the time that the cashier opened the register and actually paid me! I was gobsmacked. I walked out of Publix with bags of groceries and money in my pocket. Seriously? Why is everyone not doing this?!? (They now give you your credit balance on a Publix gift card).
I started saving more and more; adding to my stockpile and my bank account. I even got better at this whole coupon thing than the girl who taught the class I’d attended. I had a ton of friends asking how to do what I do, so I decided to start a little blog so that everyone would have the information that I had.
And here’s where things got really interesting. My blog blossomed into something much, much bigger than I ever expected. I now actually make money from my blog and I constantly receive products to review. I teach coupon classes. And now I have friends not only asking how to save with coupons, but how to make money blogging. It’s hard to explain that I spent hours upon hours and days upon days getting to where I am today. But it was all because of a little $5 investment in a coupon class.
I am often asked what my number one tips are. I would stay to start small so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Print any coupons you will use the moment you see them available for print (prints sometimes run out quickly) and be a good steward of your store’s coupon policy; learn it and take a copy of it to the store with you. Don’t try to game the system. Use each coupon the way that it was meant to be used, even if you can “get away with breaking the rules.” Make it as easy as you can on the cashiers by having them ring up anything you have a free coupon for last so that they can easily find it to write the purchase price on the coupon. Separate manufacturer’s coupons from store coupons and always get rain checks!
We are now to the point where we are able to donate many, many items to different ministries; all because of coupons. I have a ton of fun with coupons, and IHeartPublix is my top resource!
Thanks for sharing Vicki.
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Your post can be about almost anything to do with couponing. You can tell us about a particularly good or bad situation you’ve dealt with as a couponer, about how you got into couponing or how couponing has impacted the rest of your life, you can make a list of things every new couponer should know…just about anything, really! If you think it’s interesting and it has to do with couponing, email me with your idea at contactiheartpublix @ gmail.com.This is one of my favorite features on the site! Be sure and check out all the past Reader Spotlights HERE.